Purpose: This study aimed to clarify whether the absence of occlusal support would lead to a decline in the activities of daily living (ADL) in elderly people receiving home care. Methods: The subjects of this study were 322 elderly individual aged 65 and older who were receiving home care during a one-year observation period. The subjects were divided into two groups according to the change in the total score of the Barthel Index (BI) during the prospective cohort study period (the dependent variable): the maintained/improved activities of daily living group, in which the score was unchanged or improved, and the worsened activities of daily living group, in which the score decreased. The relationship between occlusal status (the presence or absence of occlusal support) at the baseline measurement and each BI score change was evaluated in the slightly, moderately and totally dependent ADL subgroups. Results: The number of subjects in the maintained/improved and the worsened ADL groups was 152 and 170, respectively. The baseline characteristics of cognitive function and occlusal support were significantly different between the maintained/improved and the worsened ADL groups (p< 0.05). Among the ADL subgroups, significantly reduced scores in mobility and toilet use were observed only in the slightly dependent group (p< 0.05). Conclusions: Our results suggest that the loss of occlusal support may be an important factor in the decline of ADL in elderly people receiving home care, especially slightly dependent people.
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